Women’s Health Is Family Health

A man found a cocoon of a butterfly. He sat and watched it for several hours as it struggled to break out of the cocoon. The man decided to help the butterfly by snipping off the remaining bit of cocoon.

When the butterfly emerged, it had a swollen body, and small, shriveled wings. The struggle to emerge from the cocoon was nature’s way of forcing fluid from the body of the butterfly into its wings so that it would be strong enough to fly.

Raising kids is no different. A recent article pointed out that this generation of kids is the most obese, inactive, and mentally unhealthy that our society has every seen. When parents don’t want to watch their children struggle, they help them out of their “cocoons”, and the kids miss out on a vital part of their development.

My daughter, Stella, is a great example. She is self-motivated and highly driven. Between being a top student in her class, training to make the USA Olympic Judo team, and being a beloved role model for our Growing Gorillas, I couldn’t be more proud of her accomplishments and the goals for which she strives.

But Stella has her rough days, too. She has rough days at school and at practice when she falls short of the expectations of her Type A personality. On top of it she’s a teenage girl with all the messy hormones that come with being almost-sixteen. On those days she fights like hell to bust out of her cocoon.

The best thing I can do for her is let her struggle.

If I don’t let her have that struggle, then she will never learn how to move past it. She will give up and go on to the next thing – in her training, her career, and her relationships – and likely discover herself up against the same challenges. She will never learn how to fly higher than she is now.

I know, because I have had the same struggles.

Fighting the same struggles helped me raise four incredible kids and run a successful business. Fighting these struggles helped me stay in an 18-year marriage with the best father and husband I could have asked for. Fighting these struggles helped me provide the very best quality of life for Ted with his seizure disorder.

To put it more bluntly, I am facing my s**t, so I can help my children be better people.

Many women struggle to make it into the gym, because they feel like they’re being selfish. They feel like the time and money that is going toward their health and wellness would be better spent on their children.

As a mother of four and an entrepreneur, take it from me – you cannot afford to not workout and train.

Children follow the example of their parents. So when a parent trains to be a healthier, better version of themselves, their children are far more likely to follow that example. When you learn to face your s**t, your children will follow your lead.

When Stella struggles to juggle her schedule and homework and training, I encourage her to keep adjusting her techniques and efforts, because I’ve struggled to juggle full-time work, raising children, and training.

When your child is tired and grumpy and doesn’t want to go to class, you will be able to talk them into going, because you have talked yourself into going to class dozens of times.

When they struggle with Sticky Monkey Back Pack and they want to quit, you will push them through it, because you struggled with improving your deadlift that same week.

When they gag at the sight of broccoli, you will encourage them take a couple of bites, because you hated broccoli once, too, and learned to like it.

Everything I have done to be a better person has been for my kids, because I know that when I fly high, my kids fly even higher.

In honor of Women’s Health Month, we’re dedicating this Kids’ post to all of our SBG Moms with a Growing Gorilla AND who train at our gym! Because YOU work to be a better person, your kids are better for it. Thank YOU!!❤️

And for all the SBG Moms-to-be, raising happy, healthy children starts with YOUR happiness and health.